In trusts and estates, the probate estate includes assets that are held in an individual’s name. The disposition of the probate estate is determined by probate court, and is usually divided as directed by the decedent’s will. Probate estate assets also include assets that do not have title (i.e. household items, jewelry) and other assets owed to the decedent prior to their death (including wrongful death lawsuit proceeds). These assets exclude non-probate assets, in which the title has been transferred within decedent’s lifetime or in which transfer of title is controlled by a survivorship mechanism.
[Last updated in July of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]